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Top 10 Arthritis Society Canada-funded Research Advances of 2023

Arthritis Society Canada celebrates major strides in arthritis research with Top 10 Research Advances of 2023 

As the leading charity in funding life-changing arthritis research across the country, Arthritis Society Canada is committed to investing in cutting-edge research to bring transformational impact to the six million people in Canada living with arthritis.

Thanks to the generous support of donors who help fuel our mission, Arthritis Society Canada invested in $6.2 million in research last year and is proud to share the Top 10 Research Advances of 2023

From optimizing osteoarthritis care for individuals living in disadvantaged communities, including diverse women across Canada, to developing new tests to predict treatment-resistant pain after joint replacement, research from this past year has strengthened our understanding of what causes arthritis, allowed us to explore innovative treatment approaches and brought us one step closer to discovering a cure for this chronic and devasting disease. 

“Given the impact on patients, the healthcare system and society at large, research is critical to transforming how arthritis is diagnosed, treated and prevented, and ensuring people receive the best possible care to improve the quality of their lives,” said Dr. Siân Bevan, Chief Science Officer at Arthritis Society Canada. “It is with the support of like-minded donors, visionaries and investors that progress is possible and a future without arthritis isn’t just a dream.” 

Dr. Timothy Wideman from McGill University is a researcher behind one of last year’s top research advances. He and his team have identified a molecular sign of inflammation in the saliva of people with back pain that can distinguish who might experience more pain from physical activity, which is usually recommended to reduce joint pain. This can help physical therapists and other health and exercise professionals develop and prescribe more personalized physical activity programs or routines to effectively manage pain in daily life for people with back pain. 

Also on our list of top advances is Dr. Fataneh Tavasolian, a research trainee from University Health Network. She and her team in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Inman have discovered tiny particles called exosomes that carry molecular messages between cells which can be found in the blood of people with ankylosing spondylitis. This finding can be used to help detect and diagnose ankylosing spondylitis and provide many new potential targets for drug development to treat this painful disease. 

“I am profoundly thankful for the unwavering support from Arthritis Society Canada and its contributors, which has played a pivotal role in our research journey,” said Dr. Tavasolian. “Their commitment to funding life-changing arthritis research has allowed us to make significant progress in understanding ankylosing spondylitis, opening new doors for early detection and diagnosis, and bringing us closer to a future where individuals can receive more precise and effective treatments.” 

View the full list of Top 10 Research Advances of 2023.


About Arthritis Society Canada 
Arthritis Society Canada represents the six million people in Canada living with arthritis today, and the millions more who are impacted or at risk. Fueled by the trust and support of our donors and volunteers, Arthritis Society Canada is fighting arthritis with research, advocacy, innovation, information and support. We are Canada’s largest charitable funder of cutting-edge arthritis research. We will not give up our efforts until everyone is free from the agony of arthritis. Arthritis Society Canada is accredited under Imagine Canada’s Standards Program. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, visit     

Media Contact: 
Jenny Ng 
Senior Manager, Public Relations & Media 
Arthritis Society Canada 

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